Coconut Rhinoceros beetle threatens Shortland Islands plantations.

An example of a coconut tree ruined by the rhinoceros beetle

Residents of three villages in Shortland Island are worried, their copra production will drop as the deadly Rhinoceros beetle has found its way to their plantations.

The three villages are Raumae, Harapa and Karisi village.

Shortland Island stringer John Kotaru said , an Agriculture Officer had recently confirmed to the villagers that their coconut trees were infested by Rhinoceros beetle.

Mr Kotaru said coconut was the main income earner for the people of Shortlands, calling on Quarantine Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to send its officers to assist destroy these beetle.

“It looks like the beetles have already been here for 2 years, because the people here did not know this was the destructive beetle,” he said.

” People of the Shortlands are now really worried because the islands are small and the coconut tree is really inprotant to the people.”

Currently the destructive beetle is mostly found in Guadalcanal province, and other islands such as Gizo, Ulawa, Russell Islands, Ngella, and there were also reports of sightings in Malaita province.

By: Allen Waitara. 

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